Johnson and Johnson’s Vision Care unit has received FDA approval for its Acuvue Theravision with Ketotifen, a drug-eluting contact lens that could potentially eliminate the need for eyedrops in contact lens wearers suffering from allergic eye itch. This approval comes almost a year after the lens was approved for use by the Japanese Ministry of Health.

In an interview with MD+DI, Brian Pall, Director of Clinical Science at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, expressed the high demand for the product. He explained that the popularity of the drug-eluting lens stems from its intuitive and logical design. Pall stated that currently, 40% of contact lens wearers experience itchy-allergy-eyes, and about 80% of them feel frustrated by this issue, which significantly impacts their quality of life.

Each lens contains 19 mcg of ketotifen, a well-established antihistamine. The vision care unit collaborated with J&J’s Janssen for the antihistamine component. Pall emphasized that this breakthrough was the result of a strong collaboration between various partners.

The FDA approval follows positive Phase 3 clinical studies published in the journal Cornea. These studies demonstrated a significant reduction in itchy allergy eyes as quickly as three minutes after lens insertion, with effects lasting up to 12 hours. It should be noted that the lenses can be worn for longer periods for vision correction.

Developing medication-releasing contact lenses has been a challenge for companies over the past 60 years, with many failed attempts. Pall explained that one of the main challenges is finding compatibility between the medication and contact lens material. Additionally, ensuring that the drug is released from the lens material is another obstacle that needs to be overcome.

Pall also highlighted the potential of contact lenses in the future, emphasizing the company’s commitment to enhancing and restoring people’s vision through innovation in medical devices.

Overall, Johnson and Johnson’s FDA approval for its drug-eluting contact lens brings hope to contact lens wearers suffering from allergic eye itch, providing a convenient and effective solution to their problem.

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